Archive for the ‘Work File Only – Observer’s Challenge Reports’ category

NGC 6751 Planetary Nebula In Aquila: September 2022 Observer’s Challenge Object: #164

September 23, 2022

Work-File: Used only for organization and editing. When all entries are received by (October 8th) a final .pdf report will be issued by the 10th, and at that time will be posted on this page.

Bertrand Laville: Observer from France

Object information
Object name:NGC 6751
Object type:Planetary Nebula
Right Ascension:19h 05m 59s
Variation:05° 59′ 48″ S
Observations Details
Date of sighting:Jul 20, 2001 11:00 PM UT
Duration of observation:30 mins
Object position:Alt: 39.3°, Az: 184.4°
Weather conditions :not related
Observation conditions:T1, P2
Viewing location:Chabottes-les-Auberts
Instrument :TSC LX200/254 Meade
Main eyepiece:Televue Radian 10mm
T254x105 Meade SWA 24.5mm without filter

The NP is identified by blinking!x105 Meade SWA /OIIIThe NP is luminous NP, m~11v, not 12v, as indicated by Guide7, round, bluish, D<30″x185 Meade SWA 13.8mm without filterAll the stars were positioned at this G, and without Guide7. In VI, the center of the NP appears much darker (see drawing)x185 Meade SWA 13.8mm/OIIIThe diameter of the NP increases, but the central hole disappears; the round outer shape is not certain, and has irregularities x254 Radian 10mm without filterThe NP is seen V2, obvious, round, obvious annularity. Darker center, d ~1/3 to 1/4 of D (D = 30″). CS* was suspected but not sure

T635 Date of sighting: Sep 29, 2011 7:30 PM UTDuration of observation: 

72 minObject Position: Alt: 36.6°, Az: 204.5°Weather conditions: 3 p.m.: D++ V1/R15kmh t25° hu35% T2-3 9:15 p.m.: N++ V0 t16° hu49% QZ21.37MWCyg L60N21.35Observation conditions: SQMZ 21.37(MWCyg) SQML(60°N) 21.35 FWMH 1.5″ mvlon(UMi) 5.8/VI4-5 T3 P3 S4/520 5/890Place of observation: Observatory of the Baronnies ProvençalesInstrument:

TN 635 Dobsonian ObsessionMain eyepiece: Televue Nagler 3.5mm Type 6Magnification: 

890×101 Nagler 31mmThe field is easy to find, but it is so rich that the NP gets lost in it. 

Nevertheless, when found, it is obvious albeit small. Very pale blue, C130/S10-15.x520 Ethos 6mmI start as usual to position the nearby stars, in yellow on the Youman image. The CS* is almost prominent.x890 Nagler 3.5mmAlthough the seeing is quite strong, it is the best G to analyze the NP. 

The HST image helps well to understand the Youman image. The 3 bananas, L5, are difficult, but safe. That at N is the most concentrated; that to the SE is the most important, and both deform the perfect circle of the NP. I did not perceive the straightness of the N edge, and the banana there is the most difficult of the three.The central hole is well seen, but low in contrast, small, d ~ D/3, and almost entirely filled by the CS*, m ~ 15v.Like all the NPs imaged by the HST or the Gemini, or any other large diameter, we are a little disappointed: while we are expecting fireworks, we only see a ring of smoke third grade![Note 2020 07: as often, I made the mistake of detailing the NP only at high magnification. And so, I neither looked for nor perceived the halos, internal bilobed, and external round, clearly visible on the Gemini image.]

Mario Motta: Observer from Massachusetts

The following image was taken with my 32-inch scope and with a ZWO ASI 6200 camera, 1 hour of H alpha, and O3 filter, 40 min S2 NB imaging. 

I also took 50 minutes of luminance filter to obtain the central star and surrounding stars.

Combined in PixInsight.

Phil Orbanes: Observer from Massachusetts

Attached is my photo of planetary NGC 6751, the Glowing Eye Nebula, in Aquila, which lies about 6,500 light years away.

It  was a very difficult object for me due to its small size.  I use a 14-inch Planewave reflector with a focal reducer.  The image provided is an enlargement of what I obtained.

Taken with an FLI 16803 CCD camera, the 18 hours of exposure time was divided evenly between R, G, B, Ha and O3 filters.

NGC 6751 is a complex bipolar planetary nebula.  The inner bubble” shows up pretty well in my photo, but its outer hydrogen halo is very dim, which can be partly seen if you look closely.

Roger Ivester: Observer from North Carolina

Dates: August 1st and 14th 2022

Telescope: 10-inch f/4.5 Equatorial Reflector 

Eyepieces: 11mm + 2.0x Barlow 

Sketch Magnification: 208x 

Field of View: 0.39º 

NELM: 4.7 

Location: Suburban backyard with moderate light pollution.

Description: Very small, mostly round, featureless, with the central star being visible, but only at higher magnification. 

Michael Brown: Observer from Massachusetts

NGC 6751 is a small, faint planetary nebula in Aquila.  I’ve always found it interesting to compare the many planetaries in that area of the sky.  This one, while faint, is definitely visible in my 8-inch SCT with direct vision.  I am not able to discern any significant detail, such as any variation in brightness between inner and outer locations.  I may have had brief glimpses of the central star with averted vision, but I cannot be sure I really saw it.  

In spending more time than usual studying this nebula (this is the Challenge Object of the Month, after all!), I noticed that averted vision is most effective when I look to the right of, and to a lesser extent below, the object.  That presumably indicates which areas of my retina are most sensitive.

I slewed to the northwest of the nebula to see the nearby carbon star V Aquilae.  The red color was readily apparent.

I captured NGC 6751 and V Aquilae in a photograph.  This was taken with my Canon T1i digital SLR camera, 8-inch scope at F6.3, 26 minutes total exposure.  The tiny bluish “dandelion puff” with the central star is at center, and V Aquilae is at upper right.

NGC 6772 Planetary Nebula in Aquila: August 2022 Observer’s Challenge Object #163

August 21, 2022



NGC 6210: Planetary Nebula in Hercules: July 2022 Observer’s Challenge Report #162

July 18, 2022


NGC 5474 – Galaxy in Ursa Major: June 2022 Observer’s Challenge Report #161

June 22, 2022

Updated and revised June 2022 (galaxy NGC 5474) Observer’s Challenge Report, Final.  One of the fainter deep-sky objects to-date, in the past 14 years!  

The report will be heading into the fall really soon, and hopefully much better weather for most of us.  As for me, I prefer those cold nights of winter, with heavy coats, neck warmers, gloves, and for those of us in the south…always wearing a toboggan.  

Note:  From lower Virginia, and further south, all the way to Texas, a toboggan is a hat to keep a head warm…”known as a knitted or ski hat” in the north.  We had a good discussion concerning this, about ten years ago, and most everyone learned something new.

Yes…something to keep southerners heads warm, and not a sled.  🙂

My observing season really begins when the Pleiades is coming up in the east, just cresting the treetops.  This was my first deep-sky object at about 11 years old (same for Leslie Peltier) and at the time, I didn’t know it was Messier 45.  

Throughout my earliest years as an amateur astronomer, I always waited anxiously for October, and seeing M45 rising above the trees, and the same goes even today.  

Seeing M45 for the first time in the fall, causes me to go back in time.  I become eleven years old again…what a great feeling! 

Roger Ivester

M106 – Spiral Galaxy in Canes Venatici: May 2022 Observer’s Challenge Report #160

June 12, 2022

NGC 5474 – Galaxy in Ursa Major: June 2022 Observer’s Challenge Report #161

April 28, 2022

Work-File: Used only for organization and editing. When all entries are received (July 8th) a final and a .pdf report will be issued by the 10th of July, and at that time will be posted on this page.

James Dire: Observer from Illinois

Date/LocationMarch 7, 2021 Jubilee College State Park, Illinois
Camera and SettingsSBIG STF-8300C CCD camera -20°C
TelescopeAskar 72mm f.5.6 Qunituplet Apo with a 0.7x focal reducer to yield f/3.9
MountCelesctron CGEM II
Exposure100 min (10 x10 min)
ProcessingCCDOpts, Image Plus 6.5, Photoshop CS6
OtherSpiral galaxy in constellation Coma Berenices; mag. 9.31, size 6.0 x 5.5 arcmin. Galaxies brighter than magnitude 14 labeled in the image.

Mario Motta: Observer from Massachusetts

NGC 5474, a distorted galaxy near M101. The following image this is 90 minutes of imaging Lum filter only.

Taken with my 32-inch f/6.5 telescope, with ZWO ASI6200 camera,  stacked and processed with pixinsight. This is a “dwarf spiral satellite galaxy” of M101, distorted with an off-set center, and spiral arms.

David Rust: Image Information later

NGC 1501 – Planetary Nebula in Camelopardalis: January 2022 Observer’s Challenge Report #156

January 19, 2022

Work-File: Used only for organization and editing. When all entries are received, a final .pdf report will be issued by the 10th of February. And the link will be posted on this page.


Compiled by:

Roger Ivester, North Carolina


Sue French, New York

January 2022

Report #156

NGC 1501 Planetary Nebula in Camelopardalis

This month’s target:

William Herschel discovered NGC 1501 with his 18.7″ reflector on 3 November 1787. As handwritten by his sister Caroline, his description, reads: A very curious Planetary nebula near 1′ diameter. Round, pretty-well defined of a uniform light and pretty bright. Not surprisingly, the open cluster NGC 1502, sitting just 1.4° north of the nebula, was the next discovery in Herschel’s sweep.

Lawrence Parsons (the 4th Earl of Ross) and his assistant Ralph Copeland observed NGC 1501 several times with the 72-inch Leviathan… Perhaps the best description comes from Lord Rosse’s observation on 15 January 1868: A bright ring and inside it a dark annulus, very decided. A star in the centre seen very clearly and continuously with various powers; suspect variable [unequal?] brightness in the ring, perhaps a dark spot in it nearly on the preceding [western] side. The following [eastern] side of the ring appears broadest and to approach the central star nearer than the preceding side does. The north and south sides of the ring seem rather brighter than the preceding and following sides. Suspect other bright points in it, but am not at all certain. It is slightly elliptical, its major axis being preceding and following.

Complete and Finalized Report: Click on the following Link:


Pencil Sketch of NGC 1501 – Planetary nebula in Camelopardalis  

NGC 7662 Planetary Nebula in Andromeda: November 2021 Observer’s Challenge Report #154

November 19, 2021


Compiled by:

Roger Ivester, North Carolina


Sue French, New York

November 2021

Report #154

NGC 7662 Planetary Nebula in Andromeda

Sharing Observations and Bringing Amateur Astronomers Together

Final November .pdf report, click on the following link:

This is the observer’s challenge “Work-File” report: Used only for organization and editing. When all entries are received, a .pdf report will be issued by the 10th of December. And the link will be posted on this page.

Commonly called the Blue Snowball, the planetary nebula NGC 7662 dwells in the northern reaches of Andromeda. Its nickname springs from an article by Leland S. Copeland in the February 1960 issue of Sky & Telescope magazine. Copeland describes the nebula as “looking like a light blue snowball.” 

William Herschel discovered this nebula on October 6, 1784, with this 18.7-inch reflector. His journal entry reads: A wonderful bright, round planetary pretty well defined disk, a little eliptical [sic]; perhaps 10 or 12″ diameter. Another entry from October 3, 1790, endearingly states: My planetary nebula. A very beautiful object, with a vS [very small] star following; giving one the idea of a large Planet with a vS satellite. In his impressive new book, William Herschel Discoverer of the Deep Sky, NGC/IC researcher Wolfgang Steinicke credits William Herschel with 10 observations of NGC 7662.

NGC 6857: Emission Nebula – Cygnus: October 2021 Observer’s Challenge Report #153

October 13, 2021


Compiled by:

Roger Ivester, North Carolina


Sue French, New York

October 2021

Report #153

Click on the following link, for the complete report:


This month’s target:

William Herschel discovered NGC 6857 on 6 September 1784. His handwritten journal for that date reads: A patch containing some nebulosity…irregularly long.

Heinrich d’Arrest writes of this object and his observation of it in his 1867 Siderum Nebulosorum Observationes Havnienses. My very loosely paraphrased English for the Latin text: Minute, faint; it is most probably a cluster. A 12th-magnitude star precedes it. – Rechecked shortly after: it was not so small; not all of the nebula is resolved, there is at least some cloudiness. I’m not surprised that this was missed by Rosse.

NGC 6857 is the brightest part of the larger, star-forming emission region Sharpless 2-100, which is a much more difficult visual target than NGC 6857. 

A 2010 paper by Manash Samal and colleagues in the Astrophysical Journal indicates that the main ionizing source at the center of NGC 6857 is the bright, massive star at its heart. This compact nebula is estimated to be approximately 28 thousand light-years away from us, and the star is thought to have a spectral type of about OIII. The most likely age of the nebula is in the vicinity of 1 to 2 million years. (Intro and object information by Sue French)

NGC 6823/Sh 2-86: Open Cluster/Emission Nebula in Vulpecula: September Observer’s Challenge Report #152

September 13, 2021


Compiled by:

Roger Ivester, North Carolina


Sue French, New York

September 2021

Report #152

NGC 6823 & Sh 2-86, Open Cluster & Emission Nebula in Vulpecula

Sharing Observations and Bringing Amateur Astronomers Together

Observer’s Challenge Report: Final

September 2021 OBSERVERS CHALLENGE _NGC 6823 & Sh 2-86

This month’s target:

The nebula surrounding the open cluster NGC 6823 suffers an identity crisis. It’s not NGC 6820, as many sources claim, but rather a small knot of nebulosity 16 arcminutes in position angle 218 degrees (southwest by south) from the bright quadruple star at the cluster’s heart. 

Here is NGC/IC maven Harold Corwin’s explanation:

NGC 6820 is a small knot of nebulosity, roughly 1′ × 1′, perhaps a reflection nebula around a few young stars or pre-stellar objects. It is specifically NOT the much larger HII region Sharpless 2-86 as has been many times been claimed, nor is it the cluster Collinder 404 = OCl 122, though that may 

represent the stars involved with the nebula. Marth’s original observation with Lassell’s 48-inch reflector mentions only the nebulosity: “F, S, R, bM”. [Faint, small, round, brighter in the middle] 

The position of NGC 6820 is 19h 42m 27.9s  +23° 05′ 15″. Consider this a bonus object if you’d like.

Information above compiled by Sue French

Jaakko Saloranta: Observer from Finland (Pencil Sketch)